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Alpha One question-Shifting

4 posts in this topic

Curious to know if this is a standard issue or if mine has a quirk.

During normal shifting routines I have no problems. But while pulling into a slip or approaching a wall to tie up, sometimes I have to "finesse" the boat to get it in which means I have to shift multiple times and more quickly than usual.  It seems that if I shift to many times and/or too fast, it wont change. It may get stuck in reverse, or stuck in forward and simply remain in neutral despite where the throttle is. There have been several times I've had to shut the engine off to prevent plowing into the dock. Yesterday I came within an inch of a cruisers bow. Thank God in went into reverse.  The rest of the day was fine.

Is this normal for Alpha One?  BTW, new shifting cables recently installed. But this problem existed before hand.

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Does it happen when you change from fwd to reverse or back quickly? Shifter designg itself doesn't suggest smooth operations. If you shift quickly from one diirection to another, not from neutral, and prop is still spinning, its a lot of stress for shifter mechanism in lower unit and it might not engage.

Also you might want to check and align your shifter cable and check if kill switch is operational. That's 5 min job. I might post service manual pages with instructions if you need. 

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I go through the same routine navigating in marinas around docks and other boats and don't have this problem.  Given the age, I would be looking at all the shift linkage from the drive to the helm for excessive play, binding, correct travel, and proper adjustment. Also check the functionality of the shift cut-out switch.  If the switch is engaging and staying engaged the engine will die when shifting.  If the switch doesn't engage, the drive will not shift out of gear as the primary function of the shift interrupt switch is to aid in shifting out of gear to neutral by grounding the ignition and removing the torque on the dog clutch in the drive.

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I've had this annoyance since I acquired it 8 years ago. It's not a new symptom. Discussed it with a mechanic and of course couldn't reproduce the problem so he didn't believe me. It only gets this way when shifting back and forth rapidly while maneuvering the boat into a slip on a windy day, or a strong current or tight spot that requires extra shifting.

I'll discuss it with the new mechanic and get his opinion.

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